Flooding in February 1922

Severe weather in Rockford this time of year is nothing unusual. A flood on Feb 22, 1922 along the banks of Keith Creek claimed the life of a five year old boy who was caught up in its raging waters. Heavy rains and a high temperature of 61 degrees flooded an area a mile square (in southeast Rockford near 7th Avenue) as waters rose and carried large cakes of ice downstream. Several streetcars ceased operation and storm sewers were quickly overwhelmed. Streets and sidewalks were overcome with mud and debris and sections of pavement were ripped...

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“We Saved Baseball” — Betty Yahr and the Rockford Peaches

With baseball season coming to an end, we are reminded of one of Rockford’s greatest legacies: the Rockford Peaches. The Peaches were one of fifteen teams in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League that existed from 1943-1954. The Peaches won three league championships and were portrayed in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. Though the team was based in Rockford, members of the team were selected by talent scouts throughout the United States who would choose the best women baseball players for the league. One of those chosen...

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Rockford’s Courthouses

Rockford’s first court session  was held in the home of Daniel S. Haight on October 6, 1837. Haight was the sheriff and much of the county’s business took place in his home until the next year when a frame building was constructed to hold the Circuit Court. By 1874 the courthouse was too small and the city looked for an architect to design a new structure. Henry L. Gay of Chicago was chosen for the $165,000 project, and construction began. On May 11, 1877, with the new building close to complete, disaster struck. The 500 ton dome...

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Colonel Jason Marsh

Colonel Jason Marsh Born in 1807 in Woodstock, Vermont, Jason Marsh, Jr. came to the Rockford area in 1839 along with his family and wife Harriet’s brothers. Initially they arrived in Chicago, but finding the climate not to their liking, they continued on to Rockford. Jason passed the bar in New York and practiced law when he arrived in Rockford along with farming. He was involved in Winnebago County’s Whig party, along with different agricultural groups, and was a school inspector for a time as well. He joined the army in 1862, colonel in...

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